Other common names: Belgian Nightcrawler; Belgian Worm
Scientific name: Eisenia hortensis
The European Nightcrawler Worm (Eisenia hortensis) is a large worm which can grow to 1.5 grams each when fully grown. Because the European Nightcrawler has a very low reproductive and growth rate compared to some other worm species, it is considered less desirable than some other worm species for bin culture or vermicomposting systems. Its ideal temperature range is a bit cooler than the Red Wiggler Worm (Eisenia fetida) and it requires higher moisture levels. It is a popular bait worm for fishing.
Earthworms can consume most kinds of organic matter and they can eat their own body weight per day. The excreta (castings) of the worms are rich in nitrate, available forms of P, K, Ca and Mg.
Appearance / health:
The European Nightcrawler is generally pink-gray in color with a banded or striped appearance. The tip of the tail is often cream or pale yellow. When the species has not been feeding, it is pale pink. It can grow up to 8 inches in length.
Ideal temperature range of 55° F-65° F. Compared to Eisenia fetida, Eisenia hortensis does best in an environment with a higher carbon to nitrogen ratio. This makes it well suited to compost pits high in fibrous materials commonly known as browns.